How to Fit an E-Collar Properly
Using an e-collar is one of the more efficient ways to do dog training. However, a remote training collar is only effective if used consistently and properly. Proper e collar use starts with the proper fit. An improperly fitted collar is one of the main reasons why e-collar training fails.
In this blog, we’ll talk about how to fit an e collar correctly to ensure you are getting the most out of both your remote dog trainer and your dog training sessions.
How to Fit an E Collar – Preparation
A remote training e collar is not a very complicated device, but it is easy to mishandle it. The receiver that issues the stimulation, whether it’s static, vibration, or tone, goes on a strap. The collar strap wraps around the dog’s neck, much like a belt on a human waist. Sounds easy enough, right?
But you may find yourself attaching the e-collar only for nothing to happen even after increasing the stimulation level on your remote transmitter. Or worse, you could be adjusting the level one moment with no reaction only to have your dog suddenly yip in pain. Now you feel bad and start thinking maybe this is a bad idea.
Don’t give up just yet, though. This could be a simple matter of the e-collar not fitting correctly. When it comes to dog shock collars, It is vital to ensure that you do your research and prepare well.
You must make sure that the e-collar is the correct one to use for your dog. Consider the following:
- Dog Size
- Strap Material
- Size of the Contact Points
When purchasing an e collar, the first thing to consider is always your dog’s size. Some e-collars, like the SportDog 425X FieldTrainer, are small and compact but can handle small to large dogs. Some, like the ET-300 Mini Educator, while it can work for bigger dogs, is best for small to medium-sized breeds. For toy breeds to small-sized canines, Dogtra has the all-new CUE or the very popular Dogtra 200C. Straps may be adjustable, but you don’t want a receiver that is too big for your dog.
Ecollar straps also can come in a variety of materials. Shock collars by E-Collar Technologies, for example, usually come with a Biothane strap that’s flexible, durable, and washable. That makes it comfortable for dogs while still ensuring clean-up is easy for the pet owner. Plastic straps are easily cut to size to fit better, too. If you have a dog that’s prone to leash pulling, getting a strap with a bungee may help reduce the stress on their necks.
Finally, consider the contact points or prongs. Contact points range in size from short to extra long (from half an inch to 1”). Contact points need to make contact with a dog’s skin to generate consistent correction. If you have a longer-haired dog, longer contact points may work better versus a short one.
Contact points are usually made of stainless steel that has nickel components. If your dog is allergic to nickel, titanium contact points are available. There are also comfort wing pads that help distribute the pressure, adding to a dog’s comfort.
To prepare for e-collar use, ensure that you get an e-collar that is ideal for your dog’s size and takes into account their comfort.
Proper E-Collar Fit
Once you have the right e collar, it’s time to work on properly fitting the e-collar. In this regard, the one thing to remember is a snug fit.
It must be reiterated. An e collar must fit snugly so stimulation is administered consistently every time. Here is how to fit an e-collar properly.
- Position the ecollar high on your dog’s neck. The receiver must be on the right or left side of the dog’s throat.
- Tighten the collar strap so it doesn’t slide around.
- Check the fit. The contact points must rest against the skin, and you should be able to insert two (2) fingers between the strap and the dog’s neck.
E-Collar Fit – Things to Remember
- Placing the collar too low on the dog’s neck will make it move around a lot. This makes the e collar less effective.
- Placing the collar too tightly may cause pressure sores or pressure necrosis. This is a condition like bed sores in humans.
- Never leave the e collar on for more than 8-10 hours per day.
- Rotate the collar every 2 hours to avoid sores and discomfort. If the skin appears red or you notice any signs of a sore, immediately stop the use of the collar and consult a veterinarian.
- Never attach a leash to an e collar.
- If your dog has thick hair, consider getting longer contact points. You may also shave the hair where the contact points will touch.
- Wet skin may increase irritation risk. If the dog gets wet or goes swimming with the e-collar on, always clean the collar and the dog. Make sure both are dry before using the collar again.
Remember to groom your dog. Old hair may get in the way of the contact points and reduce effectiveness. Keep both your dog and the e collar dirt-free as much as possible for efficient e collar use.
A properly fitted e-collar has:
- Contact points that touch the dog’s skin, and
- Snug fit that’s not too tight to cause discomfort but not too loose to move around.
An improperly fitted e collar may mean no sensation is being felt by the dog at the very least. At worst, it can mean you are hurting your dog. So always make sure you carefully check the fit before starting dog training.
What contact point is best for my dog?
It depends on your dog’s coat. For dogs with long hair or thick coats, longer contact points of at least ¾” are usually ideal. This allows the points to go through the hair and reach the skin. Dogs with short hair are usually fine with shorter contact points.
Regardless of the coat length, though, make sure you always brush your dog to remove loose hair around the neck area.
How do you put an e-collar on a dog?
Follow the steps listed above. To summarize, place the e-collar snugly around the dog’s neck, with the contact points touching the skin. The receiver must be on the left or right side of the throat.
Where should an e-collar sit on a dog’s neck?
The e-collar should be high on the dog’s neck, below the ears, with the receiver to the side of the trachea. This allows the stimulation to be received on a flat, muscled surface and also keeps the collar in place.
How long can a dog wear the e-collar?
Never leave the collar on for more than 8-10 hours. Rotate the collar every two hours to prevent discomfort and skin irritation.
How tight should a shock collar be?
A dog shock collar or e-collar must be tight enough for the contact points to touch the skin. It must be snug so it won’t slide around the neck, making consistent stimulation difficult.
Not sure what e-collar your dog needs? We have you covered.
Need to know more about how to use an e-collar? Check out our guide.
Hi Stephanie! If the prongs are loose, the correction will be inconsistent. We suggest making sure the prongs are screwed on tightly and that the collar is snug with the prongs touching the dog’s skin. If you do not want to use static, consider switching to vibration or tone correction instead of having the collar loosely attached.
Will my dogs shock collar still emit a shock if the prongs are loose?